clam·​shell ˈklam-ˌshel How to pronounce clamshell (audio)
: the shell of a clam
: a bucket or grapple (as on a dredge) having two hinged jaws
: an excavating machine having a clamshell
: either of a pair of doors (as in an airplane tail) that open out and away from each other
: a hinged container, case, or cover that opens like the shell of a clam

Examples of clamshell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Plastics in this broad category may contain bisphenols and could include five-gallon water cooler jugs, some citrus juice and ketchup bottles, as well as produce clamshells. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 15 Sep. 2023 Lulu’s Jungle Room and the Mississippi Room will be in adjacent rooms and will operate together as a supper club and bar, except on nights when Lulu’s is offering live music on its clamshell stage. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Sep. 2023 True to name, the interior of the suitcase has a minimalist design with two clamshell compartments, several zippered pockets, and compression straps. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 31 Aug. 2023 Beautiful lettuces look pristine in their clamshell boxes, but all that plastic is a dealbreaker. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 29 Aug. 2023 The recalled kiwi exported to North America was repackaged locally for sale in one-pound clear plastic clamshells bearing the Zespri brand and UPC code 8 18849 02009 3, containing fruit stickers with the GTIN bar code 9400 9552. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2023 So take a clamshell that is used for your take-out chicken rotisserie. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2023 The rectangular case opens up fully (like a clamshell) and was super easy to pack. L.a. Hubilla, Peoplemag, 24 Aug. 2023 After giving in and providing a clamshell design and a trackpad, leaving both the Esc key and a function row out seems obstinate. Wes Davis, The Verge, 3 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clamshell.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clamshell was circa 1520

Dictionary Entries Near clamshell

Cite this Entry

“Clamshell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


clam·​shell ˈklam-ˌshel How to pronounce clamshell (audio)
: the shell of a clam

More from Merriam-Webster on clamshell

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!